As the cost of living continues to increase, we are all looking to scrimp and save where we can. Many energy companies are promoting a smart meter as a way to save money, but is this the case?
What is a smart meter?
A smart meter is a small, digital device that can be used to replace the traditional gas and electric meters. The device has a digital display which shows exactly how much energy you are using at any one time.
Does a smart meter reduce your energy bills?
This is where messaging can sometimes be mixed, however a smart meter cannot reduce your energy bills. Rather, it is recommended to use a smart meter as a tool to better keep track of your energy consumption. You can use a smart meter to know exactly how much energy you have used and therefore allow you to know exactly what your energy bill will be at the end of the month. If you are on a tight budget, they also come in handy when tracking spending through the month, as if you notice an overspend on one day you can make sure you reduce your consumption the next. If you want to reduce your energy consumption, try our energy savings tips, covered in our last blog..
How much does it cost to have a smart meter fitted?
Currently, smart meters have no upfront costs, regardless of the energy supplier you are with. Instead, the metres are paid for through everyone’s energy bills just as the more traditional meters are.
Do I have to get a smart meter installed?
The Government is currently aiming to have every household in England, Scotland and Wales fitted with a smart meter by 2025, called the Smart Meter Rollout. However, it is not a legal requirement to have a smart meter fitted. You can say no, and contact your supplier in the future if you change your mind.
It is important to be mindful when switching deals or energy suppliers as some are making smart meters mandatory. This means some energy deals are only accessible if you agree to a smart meter.
How can I get a smart meter?
Most energy suppliers are rolling out smart meters area by area, so you may be contacted by them to have one installed when it’s your area’s turn. If you have missed the boat, or don’t want to wait, you may be able to call your supplier about having one fitted. It is then a case of waiting for the engineer to come and install one. Wait times vary depending on your supplier, so it’s best to call and ask them directly.
What are the other benefits to smart meters?
The main benefit to using a smart meter in your home is the greater visibility it offers in regards to your energy consumption. This allows you to remain on budget and not overspend on the energy bills. These meters also send readings directly to your supplier, so you a) don’t have to remember to do it and b) can benefit from bills which are based directly from your consumption instead of estimates.
Need help with the cost of living?
If your energy bills are becoming too much to handle, you could end up in debt. If this is the case, we can offer you free no-obligation debt advice to help you get back on track.
See more help and advice on our dedicated cost of living page here.